Monday, December 17, 2012

The Lethbridge Show

We always enjoy our local show - it's the one time when we don't have too far to go or need to stay overnight somewhere in order to show and trial our dogs.  This year the Lethbridge and District Kennel Club celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

To make it even more exciting, the FCRSC held a booster in conjunction with the show, in order to encourage more flat-coats to enter.  I think there were a grand total of 15 flat-coats entered, which is excellent for Alberta shows!

Tinbie did very well in conformation - he won Best of Breed all three days.  And he had some very good competition in the show ring, making the wins extra-special.  On the last day he also won a Group 4th, which was the icing on the cake.  This was the only all -breed show he was shown in this year.

Our friend, Rookie, also had a very good weekend, finishing his Canadian Championship by winning Best of Winners on Friday and Saturday.  Congratulations Rookie and Shawna!

Most of my attention was on obedience and rally, with Cava entered in 2 trials of each.  She easily finished her Rally Novice title, scoring 99/100 in both trials.   Her first round of obedience was lovely, but she had a "scratch for exam" rather than a stand for exam and failed.  She managed to pass the second trial, winning high in class and getting her 2nd CD leg.

We had the pleasure of having Willow with us all weekend and showing her in conformation.  She was reserve winners female on Friday and Saturday.  Teva and Michele also joined us, so it was quite the family reunion!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Excellent news

Like her dam and grand-dam, Puffin's hips came back as OFA Excellent.  It doesn't get any better than that!  We are very pleased that Puffin has passed all of her health clearances.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Salander Calendar

Back by popular demand, and because it rhymes, our 2013 Salander Calendar is now available.  Salander is Blazingstar's resident cat.  She is 100% Alberta Barn Cat and is bursting with character and charm.  She is a "working cat" and keeps our gardens and kennel free of rodents.  Her other job is helping to teach puppies to have respect for cats.

It is available at our cafepress store at

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Championship Points for Teva

Also at the Red Deer show, Teva (Blazingstar Tansley CD) gained two more points towards her championship.  She now just needs 1 point to finish!  Teva was beautifully shown by her owner, Michele.  Congratulations Teva, Darren & Michele!

Rally Obedience Novice Leg #2 for Cava

We zipped up to the Red Deer show on Saturday and Cava passed Rally Novice with a 2nd place and a lovely score of 98/100.  This is the first of several rally and obedience trials we are gearing up for this month.  Cava did a nice job in the ring, once she was focused.  Once again, getting ready to get started was the hardest part - she stood by my side and gawked around at the judge (giving him a few flirty tail wags, of course) and the looked around the ring for what seemed like several minutes while I said "sit, sit, sit......" and tried to get her attention.  I expect it was just a few seconds in reality, but it was enough to make me nervous!  Once I had her attention and we left the start line, she was great and stayed focused all the way through the course.

The following day we competed in Novice Obedience at a local fun match and she tied for first place in the class.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our 2013 Calendar is Available!

You can find our 2013 Flat-coated Retriever Calendar at our Cafepress store:

Please note that it is cheaper to buy it directly from our store (via the link above) than to search for it on the Cafepress website and buy it from their "Marketplace".  It's very confusing but that's how Cafepress is!

This is our sixth flat-coat calendar and as usual it is full of brown and black dogs,  prairie wildlife and scenery.  Enjoy!

2013 Cover
And here is a little blast from the past - the covers from our previous five calendars:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cava Finishes her US Championship in Style

Liz took Cava and Tinbie south of the border to the Helena shows at the end of September.   Cava just needed one point to finish her championship and she did it on the first day by winning best of winners and best of opposite for her fourth major.  She was moved up to show as a champion for the following two days and won best of opposite both days, gaining points towards her grand championship title.  We are especially proud that she was owner-handled to her championship.  Thank-you again to Sarah Whittaker for letting us bring Cava to Canada.

Not to be outdone, Tinbie got a 4 point major, winning best of winners on the Sunday.  On that same day, Kona racked up another point by being awarded winners female.  Thank-you to Pat for showing Tinbie for us.

Am/Can Ch Bramatha Under Pressure WC

Cava in Montana after finishing her championship


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Luna is pointed!

Luna, Blazingstar Midnight Loon (Remus x Teva), owned by Jennifer Stanley in Washington picked up a couple of points at her first shows this summer and fall by winning Best of Winners.  Congratulations to Luna and Jennifer!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lupine 14/4/2003 - 12/9/2012

Ch Prairielight Blazingstar Kini CDX WC JH RE SHDX

This such a difficult and sad blog post to write.....  almost a month ago we had to let Lupine go.  She showed little to no signs of being sick and was happily swimming in the river just a few days before we discovered that her lungs were full of cancer.  We had noticed some increased thirst and took her to our vet for blood tests.  Everything came back normal, but then she started to lose interest in food, so we had x-rays taken and the problem was revealed.  She had only had one bad day and we didn't want her to have any more bad days, so we said goodbye.  An autopsy showed that she had histiocytic sarcoma that started in her spleen and spread quickly to her lungs.

We take some solace in the fact that she had had a great summer and was full of energy and enthusiasm right up to the end.  Her solid presence in our household is very much missed by everyone.

Here are some of our favourite photos that show Lupine and her wonderful personality and temperament:

She was an exceptionally sweet, calm and gentle flat-coat

She was a great hunting dog

She was an outstandingly patient and involved mother to her puppies and to all puppies we raised here

She was a High in Trial obedience dog and always had a good time in the ring whatever we were doing.

She loved scent hurdle racing

Swimming and water were one of her many passions

But most of all she was a loved and cherished companion.
We miss you Lupine.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blazingstar's First American Champion

Back in August, Odo, Blazingstar King Eider CGN finished his American Championship by winning Best of Breed over specials in Colorado.  Odo is a mere two years old and finished very quickly, especially when he lives in an area where it is difficult to get those major wins.

Congratulations to Odo and his owner, Tom!  And thank-you to Pat and Susan for showing Odo.

Odo is from our seabird litter (Remus x Teva).

One of our favourite photos of Odo before he left Blazingstar!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Canadian Specialty - Field Events

We entered Puffin and Cava in the WC tests and Lupine in the WCI.  The young girls were quite overwhelmed by the tests on the first day, but were much more settled and excited about it on the second day.  Cava managed to pass her WC and Puffin came very close if it wasn't for a giant bull frog that spooked her in the water!

Lupine did some nice work in the WCI, but has her own ways of doing things these days and ran the banks on the way out to the memory bird in the water.  But we were just thrilled to be able to run her in tests at 9.5 years of age!  And she had a terrific time fetching birds.

Sam was entered in the WCX and he passed both days.  Lindy was also entered in the WCX, but she did not manage to pass this time.  It was great to be able to watch both Sam and Lindy at work.  

Sam in the WCX

Lindy and Rod in the WCX



Cava.  Photo by Hayley Tomlinson
Puffin.  Photo by Hayley Tomlinson
Sam and Sylvia

You can see all of our specialty photos here:

Canadian Specialty - Non-Regular Classes

Liz braved the brace ring again with Cava and Puffin.  The dogs were quite tired by this point in the show and Puffin made it very clear she had had enough of showing!  Still, they did a nice job and placed 3rd in the class.

Puffin and Cava.  Photo by Hayley Tomlinson

Cava ready to go around the ring again.... Puffin not so much!

Lindy showed in the Altered Class and placed 4th.  It was quite a challenge to get her spay coat under control before she entered the show ring - thank-you to Gemma, Hayley, Roz and Hayley for helping us groom her!  And thank-you to Shawna for showing her so well!

Lindy and Shawna

You can see all of our specialty photos here: 

Canadian Specialty - the "Specials"

Tinbie, Cava and Puffin all showed in the Specials class (for champions).  This presented a bit of a handling challenge, but fortunately we had friends from the UK visiting and they jumped in to help out.  It was especially nice that Hayley was able to show Puffin for us (Hayley bred and owns her sire, Remus).  They made a beautiful team.  Gemma stepped in and helped us with both Cava and Tinbie.  Thank-you to both of them!

All three dogs made the cuts for the final line up for Best of Breed, which was wonderful!


Hayley and Puffin, with judge Brenda Hutchison

Liz and Tinbie


Kona also showed in the Specials class.  Thank-you to Shawna for showing her so beautifully!

You can see all of our specialty photos here: 

Canadian Specialty - Luna!

We had the pleasure of showing Puffin's sister, Luna (Blazingstar Midnight Loon), in the Canadian-bred class.  Thank-you to her owners, Jennifer and Mike, for letting Liz show her.  She was quite a wild thing while we were practicing, but calmed down and showed very nicely once we were in the ring.  Luna placed 2nd in the class, which was a thrill!

Luna checks to see if there is anything edible in the bucket that she won.  Photo by Hayley Tomlinson.

Luna also turned heads in the scurry (a timed retrieving event) where she was the fasted dog in her age class and the second fastest dog overall.   It was great to have a chance to see her again and visit with her owners.

Luna waiting for her turn in the scurry
And there she goes!
You can see all of our specialty photos here: 

More From the Canadian Specialty - Conformation - Veterans

Oops, we have lots of catching up to do.....  Firstly, going back to July and the Canadian Specialty in BC and starting with the veterans:

We had the pleasure of showing Huxley's 10 year old son, Jona (Ch Prairielight Up At Dawn CDX WCX SH) in the veterans classes.  He hasn't shown for a while but hadn't forgotten how to strut his stuff and was in great shape for a 10 year old.   Jona placed 4th in Veteran Sweeps and 4th in Field Male.

Jona on the move

Lupine in the ring.  Photo by Hayley Tomlinson.

Lupine, Tinbie and Kona in the background - 3rd in the Brood Matron class.  Photo by Hayley Tomlinson.
Lupine also showed in the 9-11 yr veterans classes and the brood matron class.  She placed 3rd in the huge brood matron class, with the help of Tinbie and Kona.

You can see all of our specialty photos here: 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canadian Specialty - Obedience

In July we headed to Abbotsford, BC for the 2012 FCRSC National Specialty.  It was extra special as we had some UK visitors along to watch and help show our dogs.

The specialty started with the obedience trial.

Darren and Teva were the first Blazingstar team in the ring.  Teva (Blazingstar Tansley) did a super job and ended up winning the Novice A class!  This was the 3rd and final CD leg for Teva - congratulations to Teva, Darren and Michele on their CD!

Next, it was Cava's first time in the obedience ring.  As we had done very little training in the weeks leading up to the show (she was in season and we were busy), I was a bit uncertain about how it would go.  She was actually pretty good and maintained good attention and attitude right up to the heel-free exercise.  At that point she noticed the dirt/sand floor and all of the interesting smells and such in it..... Our heel-free routine was downright ugly, but we got through.  Despite not having done any group stays in several months, she coped nicelwith a ring full of flat-coats-on-stays and we managed a qualifying score and her first CD leg.

Cava and Liz in the obedience ring - thank-you to Amanda Shigehiro for the photo!

Lindy (Blazingstar Linneaus) did a really nice job in Utility - we were especially impressed with her signals and glove exercise.  Unfortunately she did not bring back the correct scent articles, so did not pass.  But after watching her lovely work, we are sure she will get there!